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Thread: Most Important Thing you Learned?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Okotoks, AB, Canada
    Posts
    48

    Most Important Thing you Learned?

    It has been approximately exactly one year now since I first took my first picture with my 4x5 view camera. Thankfully, I think I have improved somewhat since then. One of the most important things I have learned is that I do not need to stop down to f32 for every picture. That has helped tremendously. At first I was just all about detail detail detail but now I realize that f32 isn't necessarily helping. Diffraction. And there is the fun of low DOF and movements but I have just started touching those more now.
    My second most important thing I learned is to always check that your lens is closed and ready before taking the picture.
    What about you?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    951

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Early on, a professional photographer told me that just because something was interesting or beautiful didn't mean that it would make a good picture. That forced me to think about what makes a good photograph and to see things differently.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    1,654

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Show up early.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    373

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Stop chasing the magic bullet: use whatever gear you have and just make some photos.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    951

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Actually I've found a few magic bullets, so keep looking.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Laramie, WY
    Posts
    27

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Nearly every scene looks spectacular on the groundglass. Only a few look equally spectacular on film.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,695

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Work hard.

    You didn't ask but I'll volunteer - the effects of diffraction aren't noticeable at f32 with 4x5 film unless you're making gigantic prints. I don't mean to suggest that photographing everything at f32 as a matter of course was a good idea, it wasn't, but not because of diffraction.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    20

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    Early on I learned not to put my film holders down in front of the tripod. Inevitably, you back up a few steps with the tripod, forget the film holders are there and take a spectacular picture with your film holders in the foreground.

    Another thing I've learned, or rather had pointed out to me, was that my extensive history with 35mm had affected the way I composed. Large format can be far more inclusive of a scene. I still like to use a slight telephoto as my normal lens, but a slight wide angle might be a better choice.

  9. #9

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    It is ok to tilt your tripod head 90º so you can screw in your camera more comfortably, there is no law that says you have to keep it horizontal. Going on your toes to set your aperture and speed might be good exercise for a ballet dancer, me, I rather turn the scale to the side. Be patient, but take the shot....don't spend 2 years "waiting for the light"...if you do, you might find a parking lot where you wanted to take the shot. Read the book "the next step" by Al Weber....good advice without the artsy BS.

    Good luck.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    477

    Re: Most Important Thing you Learned?

    I'll go ya one or two better: shoot and shoot and shoot.

    And when it doesn't come out, go back and shoot yet again. Keep incrementally improving your approach till it works. I have gone back to a place many times to get it right.

    C

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